CLOVER MOUNTAINS HERD MANAGEMENT AREA, NV
The Clover Mountain and Clover Creek Herd Management Areas (HMAs) are located in southcentral Lincoln County, Nevada, approximately 5 miles southeast of Caliente. These HMAs are roughly 206,000 acres in size and cover over 75 percent of the Clover Mountains, for which they
are named. Climate in the area is quite harsh, with winter temperatures well below freezing and summer temperature well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The area has had snow in May and 90
degree heat as late as November. Rainfall averages only 8-14 inches per year, divided almost equally between summer and winter. Summer rains are localized, short and very intense while
winter/spring rains are gentler and over a wider area. Permanent water sources consist of many small springs found in the canyons of the Clover Mountains, Clover Creek (a viable trout stream), as well as water troughs installed for livestock grazing. The animals sometimes have to
travel several miles from food to water and back during the drier part of the year. Horses drink at least once each day during the hotter part of the year, but only every second day during the winter and early spring.
The horses share the area with desert mule deer, coyotes, grey and kit fox, and mountain lions, as well as many species of small wildlife. Birds include the rare prairie falcon, ravens, quail, starlings, horned larks and many more. Reptiles include many species of lizards and both poisonous (rattlesnakes) and non-poisonous snakes.
The vegetation within the HMAs is typical of the Great Basin types with big sagebrush, forest lands (pinyon pine/juniper and ponderosa pine), and bunch grasses. The foothills and valley bottoms are dominated by sagebrush and rabbitbrush communities with grass in the understory. The south slope of the Clover Mountains contains communities common to the transition to the
Mojave Desert with blackbrush and manzanita/ceanothus communities. The Clover Mountains contain extensive stands of pinyon-pine and juniper (P/J) trees as well as the last remaining large
stands of ponderosa pine trees within the area. These communities have an understory of sagebrush and other mountain shrubs and small amounts of grass. Large areas of the sagebrush and P/J have been burned naturally and intentionally) or chained, and then planted with grass species to increase the forage capacity for livestock as well as wild horses and wildlife. The
scattered pockets of perennial grasses within the sagebrush and P/J communities supply the majority of the forage for the horses.
The horses that exist within these HMAs are generally descendants of early ranch horses and cavalry remount horses. These horses show bloodlines of quarter horses, Arabians, thoroughbreds, and many other breeds including draft horses. The predominate colors are bay and sorrel with roans, palominos, and other colors occurring, also. These horses average
approximately 13-14 hands (52-56 inches) tall and weigh about 600-800 pounds.